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Jack Abramoff Awaits Sentencing Wednesday

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Sep/04/2008
Jack Abramoff

Disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff awaited sentencing on Thursday. Abramoff, 49, is in year two of a nearly six-year sentence in Cumberland, Md., for fraud in his purchase of a Florida casino cruise line.

Abramoff was also an active lobbyist for the online gambling industry.

"I am not a bad man (although to read all the news articles one would think I was Osama Bin Laden), but I did many bad things," he wrote. "I lied to clients, even while working to get them the results they expected. I cheated my law firm and took advantage of public officials. And, while I gave millions of dollars to charities, I thought I could then skirt the rules in paying the right amount of money to the government in taxes."

In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, Abramoff acknowledged that he "permanently" injured people and apologized to former clients, the government and his family.

"I have a lot to make up for and a lot of amends to make," he wrote. "If I ever can earn more than a mere living again, I will be paying back those I have harmed for the rest of my life. However, little is accomplished by delaying that day by my being jailed longer than is necessary."

A day prior to Abramoff pleading guilty to the casino cruise line fraud, he pled guilty on January 3, 2006, to three criminal felony counts in a Washington, D.C., federal court related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials.

The extensive corruption investigation has led to the conviction of White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine other lobbyists and Congressional aides.

Abramoff was a top lobbyist for the Preston Gates & Ellis and Greenberg Traurig firms and a director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, and Toward Tradition. He was College Republican National Committee National Chairman from 1981 to 1985. He was a founding member of the International Freedom Foundation.

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Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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